This activity will help your child to develop an awareness of feelings and give her ways to express her feelings in an appropriate way. Handling strong emotions is an important school readiness and life skill.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Social and Emotional
Introduce the activity to your child by saying: “Sometimes we have angry feelings and that’s okay, but we should express our anger in a way that doesn’t hurt others or ourselves. When someone says mean words to me, sometimes I get angry. When that happens, is it a good choice to hit them or throw things at them?” (Wait for child to respond.) “No, throwing things and hitting are not good ways to express your anger. What are some things that make you angry?” Let your child respond.
“What do you do when [name some of the things that make her angry]?” Let your child respond. Help her with real examples if she cannot remember. “Was it a good choice to [use example of child’s reaction to being angry]?”
“Let’s think about some other things we can do when we are angry.” Have your child think of some good options. Below are a few good examples that you can share with your child:
- Use your words and say something like “Please stop, I don’t like it.”
- Ask for help from an adult.
- Walk away/take a break.
- Take a deep breath and count to 10.
- Take time to sit in a quiet place and draw a picture or write.
- Talk to someone and tell him how you are feeling.
- Listen to music and dance.
- Go into your room and pound your hands on a pillow.
- Give your child positive feedback by saying, “I like the way you used your words to explain your anger,” or “You made a good choice.”
- If your child struggles with expressing her feelings in a positive way, help her to come up with a plan of action to follow when she gets upset.
- Read books about feelings with your child.
- Use puppets to role-play how to express feelings appropriately.
- You can use this same type of discussion about feelings and emotions to help children understand other feelings (frustrated, sad, upset, scared).
- The best time to talk to your children about feelings and how they react is when they are NOT feeling a strong emotion (for this activity, we recommend you do it when you and your child are not angry).